Sunday, September 22, 2013

Conservationists deploy net-flinging cannons, GPS devices to aid restoration of endangered bird

To save one critically endangered bird population, a group of researchers are bringing in the big guns—literally. The researchers deployed a trio of cannons into areas of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where populations of the red knot, a robin-sized bird species, are roosting and fire nets from the cannons to trap the birds in order to collect feather samples and outfit the birds with geo-locator devices. By tracking the birds via the devices, the researchers hope to gather clues that might help them save this bird species from what some ornithologists say is a very likely extinction.
According to the research team, which included about a dozen participants, the red knot is one of a large number of shorebirds that are in trouble—70% of shorebird species are in decline, according to Lawrence Niles, a participant and the chief biologist at the Conserve Wildlife Foundation. The red knot’s problem is especially acute, though, in that some of its populations have withered by 75% since the 1980s.

Source: Here

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